Mr. Coffee BVMC-SJX33GT Review
Coffee Type: Ground coffee
The shiny Mr. Coffee BVMC-SJX33GT is a programmable drip coffeemaker with a 12-cup glass carafe. The coffeemaker does not only have an appealing chrome finish, but also have some nice and useful functions. A timer-function allows you to prepare the maker on the evening before and you will have freshly brewed coffee when you wake up the next morning. You can also adjust the brew strength to fit your taste. These are only a few of the reasons this coffeemaker has been recognized as one of the best coffeemakers of 2011 by a leading consumer research magazine.
he Mr. Coffee BVMC-SJX33GT is an attractive coffeemaker with its shiny chrome front and an easy to use control panel. I feel a brushed metal finish would look and match better the other kitchen appliances, at least in my kitchen. Another drawback with chrome is that fingerprints and other type of marks are more visible and stand out on the shiny surface. Even though I like brushed metal better than chrome, the coffee machine undeniable looks good.
When I unpacked my new Mr. Coffee SJX33GT there was a strong plastic smell. This didn’t come as a shock since the coffeemaker is mainly made of plastic. By following the recommendations to wipe down the coffeemaker with a wet rag and running a couple of rinse cycles before making the first pot of coffee the plastic smell was almost vanished. If you wonder how my first pot of coffee was like, I can skip ahead and tell you that it was excellent with no plastic or bad taste at all. But let us go back to the setup.
As I place the coffeemaker on my kitchen counter and set it up for the first time I soon see a potential problem. The coffeemaker can’t be placed under our cabinets on the kitchen counter. The coffee machine is not taller than other machines, but the lid flips up and needs at least 20 1/4″ (about 51.5cm) to fully open. The height of our kitchen cabinets is about 19″ (48cm), which I believe is quite normal. The short cord doesn’t make the matter any better, which limits where it can be placed. Before acquiring this Mr. Coffee SJX33GT I recommend you to think through where you want and can place it. You should have in mind that the coffeemaker has a lid that flips to the left and a water level gauge on the right side.
Getting ready to brew
When I found a suitable spot for the coffeemaker on the kitchen counter I started to make my first pot of coffee. The coffee grounds and water are both added through the big lid which covers most of the top of the machine. As I mentioned above, the lid require at least a height of 20 1/4″ to flip open. The lid is made of the same black plastic as the rest of the machine which seems to be durable and strong.
The water tank is located in the back of the coffeemaker with its water level gauge all the way back on the right side. The water level gauge can therefore be hard to see if the coffee maker is placed too close to something else. I never found it to be a problem since I usually use the carafe to measure the right amount of water needed and then fill the water tank.
In front of the rather narrow opening for the water tank I find the basket for the ground coffee and the water filter. The coffee filters used in this coffeemaker are the basket type filters with flat bottoms. You can either use the regular paper basket filters you find in the grocery store or a permanent filter. If you like to use a permanent filter, Mr. Coffee has made its own filter (GTF2-1 gold tone permanent filter) that fits perfectly, but you can use any other 10- 12 cup permanent filters as well.
After the ground coffee has been placed into the filter the water filter needs to be replaced back on top of the coffee basket. This sounds like a hassle, but it really isn’t. The water filter holder fits right into basket and sits right above the coffee grounds. The water filter needs to be changed once in a while and to keep track of this; the water filter holder has a red tab to mark the month you put it in. For those living in larger cities or other places where the water has a bad odor or taste like chlorine the water filter will make a huge difference. I found the coffee to be better tasting with the water filter fitted. For those that feel the water filter is unnecessary the coffeemaker works without it as well.
Easy to use the functions
The Mr. Coffee SJX33GT has some nice functions I fell in love with quickly. The first thing I liked was the programmable timer function. The timer function allows you to setup your coffeemaker the night before (up to 24 hour before) and a freshly brewed pot of coffee will be waiting for you went you get up in the morning. To set the timer only push the “Set Delay“-button and adjust the clock with the “Hour” and “Minute“-buttons. The setup couldn’t be much easier or faster, but remember to add water and coffee grounds. When the timer is set a light illuminates beside the “Set Delay“-button to indicate the function is switched on.
Another nice function is the “Fresh Brew Timer” which lets you know how long the coffee has been sitting there. Nothing is worse than old lukewarm cup of coffee when you expected a fresh cup. This function might be more useful in an office environment where you might not know when the coffee was made rather than at your home.
The last function on the control panel is the “Brew Strength“, as the name implies you can choose between a regular and a strong brew. A light illuminates to let you know which brew strength is set to avoid any confusion. The brewing time will be slightly longer with the strong option selected. What I found quite annoying with this function is that if you want a strong brew you need to choose it manually each time and it can be easy to forget. How I like my coffee is not likely to be changing every day and it would therefore be nice if the coffeemaker could remember the brew strength.
On top of the control panel we find the clock which is used for both the timer function and “Fresh Brew Timer“. The only thing I can comment on about the clock is that it is not backlit and therefore difficult to read when the room is dark.
Brewing and serving
Have you ever stood in front of a drip coffeemaker waiting for it to finish? You are definitely not alone and there is no need to wait anymore. The Mr. Coffee SJX33GT coffeemaker allows you to have a cup without spilling coffee on the heating plate before the whole pot is finished brewing. The feature works very well if you pull the pot halfway out and hold it there a couple of seconds. This is to let the valve close and the last few drops from the basket to drip clear. If you don’t you mind waiting for the coffeemaker to finish it will notify you when it is finished brewing with 3 beeps.
The coffeemaker keeps the coffee warm after brewing with a heating plate under the carafe as is normal. But this coffeemaker has also an automatic shut-off function which turns off the heating plate after 2 hours. A great safety feature if you forget to turn off the machine when you leave the house or fall asleep. Some might feel that 2 hours is not enough which I can understand. A simple solution is to turn it on again if you want to keep the coffee warm for more than the first 2 hours. Maybe Mr. Coffee can make a programmable shut-off function on the next model?
One thing on a coffee machine that gets exposed to wear and tear is the heating plate. As you drag the pot over the plate the paint get worn, but it is also exposed to moist and temperature variations regularly. I got a little bit disappointed when my heating plate started to rust. I wish Mr. Coffee had used stainless steel.
The Mr. Coffee BVMC-SJX33GT is a good looking 12-cup coffeemaker with all the right features. The programmable timer, the automatic shut-off and the brewing pause when serving were the features that won me over. My biggest disappointment was that I couldn’t place the coffeemaker on the kitchen counter under the cabinets due to the lid required too much space. When that is said, the coffeemaker is well built and makes excellent coffee. You will have to look long and hard to find a better and cheaper coffeemaker.
- Good coffee.
- Plenty of nice features.
- Short cord.
- Heating plate rusts.